Learn how to draw cartoon style heads

In the following article, learn how to draw cartoon style heads. You will see how to achieve the personality traits you are looking for, and capture them in your drawing, different head sizes, different personality trait, for example, big eyes, different personality to someone with small eyes, and so on.

We will exaggerate the features, to give the face a certain personality. You can’t miss any of the tips in this post. Enjoy and keep reading!

What is the difference between emotions and personalities?

The head is one of the most important parts of our body, and is the frame that contains our face, the same, is the expressive element par excellence when it comes to represent emotions. But here we will not talk about emotions, but about personalities.

An emotion is when we show what we feel through the movement of the parts of our face, and personality is what defines us as people.

We will show you how to exaggerate this personality by designing this person’s head.

We will see how stereotypes can help us, to approach general ideas, and shapes, to give us symbolic ideas.

Let’s start, the structure of the human head is composed of two main parts, the sphere, which represents the bones of the cranial vault, the eyes, the nose, the top of the mouth, and a trapezoid or semicircle, for the chin.

These shapes are used to make a classic skull, following realistic proportions. First, you have to know how this classic structure works, and what function each part has, and then, you can create freely modifying each of these parts, and in this way, look for your own structure, or exaggerate to generate caricatured characters.

aprende a dibujar cabezas estilo cartoon
Example of human skull, where two main parts are visualized, the jaw and the rest of the skull.

Classical structure and structure created by you

In the classic structure, as we said, it is divided into the two parts already mentioned, the circle and the jaw, but, before continuing, I ask you to imagine and visualize different people. Do they all have the same size jaw? Do they all have the same size of head? Do they all have the same nose? the same teeth? the same eyes?

We will observe these particularities, we will exaggerate them, we will give them particular shapes, and also, an imprint of our own.

estructura de cabeza
Structure of the human head from the front and from the profile, we observe that it is drawn differently. A circle at the top divided in two halves, where in the face from the front, the horizontal marks the height of the eyebrows, and the vertical, the height of the nose. In profile, the horizontal marks the height of the eyebrows and the top of the ear, and the vertical marks where the ear is born.
dibujo estilo cartoon estructura de cabeza
Example of a face from the front and profile on these structures, placing each part where it corresponds.

How can we generate this diversity of heads? To make these heads, which will have a particular shape, we have to make sure that they are that particular from the beginning, for that, you will invent your own structures, so that they help to reinforce the personality of each character.

The structure is the skeleton of our drawing, it is a succession of simple shapes where we will later add the more detailed drawing, how should we generate them? To do this, I will ask you some questions and we will see possible answers How is the head of an intelligent person?

What is the head of an unintelligent person like? What is the jaw of a boxer like? What is the look of a dominant person like? What is the mouth of someone who talks little like? What is the mouth of someone who talks a lot and laughs loudly like? What are the eyes of someone who is fearful like? These questions aim to look for stereotypes, that is, examples that generalize a human group.

This does not mean that we will seek to generalize people, nor that we will define people by their face or body, but we will appropriate these generalities, to use them as a creative resource.

Now yes, we will seek to answer these questions, we can say, that an intelligent person has a very large head, to fit a large brain, someone unintelligent, may have little space for that brain and have a small forehead (Or eyes close to the hair).

The jaw of a boxer (Or someone who fights a lot) May be square and big, because, he has to resist many blows, a dominant look may be fixed, accurate and with personality, someone who talks little may have a small mouth, someone who talks a lot, may have a big mouth, if he is fearful, he may have big eyes, to observe everything around him and be alert.

This does not mean that all people are like this, but it will help you a lot, to give a clear personality to your characters.

Based on these questions, I propose to work with various geometric shapes, to generate diversity of heads and characters, let’s start with the main circle of the head, which corresponds to the cranial vault, where we find the eyes, the nose, the ears, the brain (not at first sight), etc.

Try to make this part of the head with another shape, a square head, or a triangular head (that it shrinks upwards), an oval head (that has a longer head) and other possibilities of shapes.

Each one, will generate us different ideas about how the person can be, although we lack the jaw, I propose you the same exercise, try to make the chin, with different geometric shapes, rounded, triangular, square, etc.

estructura geometrica para dibujo
Some possibilities of different shapes for the cranial vault.
geometria para dibujo
Some possibilities of different shapes for the jaw.

Now to join the parts

The next step, will be to join both parts to generate the structure of this head, and thus, to glimpse the structure of the character that we will be able to create. But something is still missing, the axes! The previously named ones.

The horizontal axis, for the eyebrows, and the vertical axis, for the nose. The vertical axis, we should always leave it centered because it would generate faces that tend to deformity (and this is not our goal).

The horizontal axis, we can move it to modify the location of the eyebrows and, consequently, the size of the forehead and face.

If we raise this line too much in a very vertical figure, we will have a character with a small forehead and a very long face, but if we do it in a flatter figure, it will give us a smaller face.

The same happens in the opposite way, if we make a lot of forehead to a face, in a low height shape, we will have a character with a lot of forehead and a small face, but if we do it in a higher shape, we will have a lot of forehead and a longer face.

It all depends on how much we move that axis, we can make more subtle or more exaggerated movements, now you can start designing the character.

First you will make the whole structure, and then, start drawing the face inside. Here are two examples of characters from the front.

estructura de cara para comenzar a dibujar
Two examples of structures. On the left a classic circle, but with the axis of the eyebrows above the middle, and on the jaw a triangle with a wide angle, generating an angular pear. On the right above is an oval with the eyebrow axis also high and on the jaw a square, giving a strong chin.
estructuras completa de cara de un dibujo
Here are two characters with different personalities corresponding to each structure.

I will show you how this resource works, in the profile heads, since, they have another functionality and other possibilities, the shape options are the same as I showed you before.

Both parts of the head structure can be replaced by another shape. We have to keep in mind that the jaw, looks and draws differently than in profile, we are not only drawing one side, but one half, and here, you can add another resource, the volume of it.

You can create people with the jaw forward or backward, with the lower part of the jaw in front of the rest of the face, with the forehead protruding from the rest of the head, or leaning backwards.

These resources will help you to give more personality to your characters, and here too, you can do it in a more subtle or exaggerated way. Here are some examples.

geometria para cara de perfil
Some possibilities of various shapes for the structure of the head in profile. Three possible combinations of various shapes. In the example on the left, I drew a similar structure to a possible face from the front, but when done in profile, we are left with a face with the jaw backwards. In the example in the center, the opposite happens, two triangles are combined and one of them, when protruding, generates a very prominent jaw. The example on the right shows another character with a prominent mouth, but in a more rounded way.
caras de perfil estilo cartoon
Here are characters drawn on these structures, generating very varied characters.

Before I say goodbye, let’s review some possible personalities, a person with a large skull, can be used to represent intellectual, studious, intelligent people and also people with a weak constitution.

People with small skulls can be used to represent people with low intellectual capacity, naive, crazy, etc.

Prominent jaws, millionaires, exploiters, fighters, strongmen, and also gluttons.

Small jaws, shy, thin, weak, etc. Each of these characteristics, give us a stereotype, but it depends a lot on how we combine it with the rest, therefore, I invite you to experience this creative process, try to make varied and exaggerated faces, I assure you, you will have a lot of fun in the process.

Try to think of personalities and capture them in a subtle or more exaggerated way. Make caricatures of your close people, friends, relatives, and also, try to caricature unknown people (in the latter, you can play with more freedom, since they will never see your caricature).

Have fun and play with drawing!


As we could observe during the course of the article, with the shapes of the heads we can define the personality of a character or person, depending on how the skull, chin or eyes are, they will have different personality characteristics.

Logically, what we achieve with this exercise is to exaggerate the features, to turn them into caricatures. I assure you that the process will be a lot of fun.

We hope you liked the article, and we look forward to seeing your creations. See you next time!

More articles

Join us

Drawing tips & Tricks

Valuable content every week.